Category: Construction

What I Made: Allegra

This is not the first bodysuit I’ve sewn. It was a year and a half ago that I made Heather Lou’s The Nettie. Like Allegra, it was backless and was made with white and cream lace. With long sleeves, it could be worn as innerwear, but I saw most other sewists make outerwear versions. I wore mine with boyfriend jeans. My girl Lola rocked an ombre Nettie and my bra making muse, Amy, channeled her inner Marilyn with a simple black Nettie. Even after Nettie and Allegra, I’m still on the fence about bodysuits, which I will get to below. First, the deets. Fabric + Trims Front and back (body): cream, textured lycra from Fleishman Fabrics underlined with power net from Bra Makers Supply. I used temporary spray adhesive to spray baste fabrics together prior to cutting. I treated the layers as one going forward. Cups: 6.75″ metallic stretch galloon lace from Tailor Made Shop underlined with power net (same as for body) from Bra Makers Supply Crotch Lining: white cotton jersey from Fleishman Fabrics 3/8” white plush/picot elastic for underarm and center back edges from Bra Making Supplies by Arte Crafts 1/8” white elastic for front neck edges (clean finished with underlining – see photos) from Bra Makers Supply 1/4” cream stretch grosgrain strap elastic from Pacific Trimming 3/8” gold rings and sliders from Bra Makers Supply (ran out of 1/4”) I’ve been getting a heck of a lot better at dyeing. It’s easy to achieve a dark color – you just add a ton of dye. You can’t really add too much because your fabric and trims will only take a certain amount, and at that point, it’s exactly what you want – opaque. Achieving a lighter color, however, is difficult. Getting the hang of dyeing light colors is like getting the hang of sewing elastic. At first, you want to stretch the heck of out elastic. It’s takes many tries to…

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tags: bra making, Construction, lingerie, What I've Made Comments: 9

Sierra Sew-Along: Day 1

Welcome to the Sierra sew along! This will be your visual tutorial on how to make the Sierra bra. Similar to Mallori Lane, the construction is basic, so this is a great project for newbie lingerie sewists who want to dip into the world of bra making without having to think about cup sizes, underwires and channeling. Today, I’ll be covering supplies and tracing and cutting. Also, please share your bras on Instagram with the hashtag #bramakingwithmadalynne. You can also enter to win $25 to Bra Making Supplies by tagging both of us (@mmadalynne and @bramakingsupplies) with your Sierra. Winner will be chosen at the end of October. SUPPLIES 3 yards stretch lace with one edge that is scalloped or 2 yards galloon lace that is at least 7” (8” if a size large) 0.5 yards lining fabric 2.5 yards of ¼” or 3/8” picot/plush elastic 0.75 ¼” or 3/8” strap elastic One 2×3 hook and eye closure Sewing machine with zigzag stitch Rotary scissors Stretch needles size 11, 12, or 14 Universal needle size 16 Duck-billed scissors (optional) Polyester thread For this sew along, I’m using stretch galloon lace from Tailor Made Shop, beige powernet from Bra Makers Supply, 3/8” picot/plush elastic from Bra Making Supplies, a 2×3 hook and eye from Tailor Made Shop, rings and sliders from Bra Makers Supply, and stretch velvet strap elastic from Pacific Trimming. PRINTING, FINDING YOUR SIZE + CUTTING Follow the instructions in the PDF download to print your pattern. Even though the directions state it, be sure that your test square measures 3” x 3”. After, use a pair of paper scissors or a rotary cutter to cut off the right edges along the black line. Then, overlap the sheets so that the stars align and tape together. Next, find and cut…

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tags: bra making, Construction, lingerie, tutorial Comments: 19

Sierra Sew Along Starts Monday!

My first sew along for the Sierra bra starts Monday and pretty I’m pumped. A few people have posted or sent me photos of their iterations, which is only fueling my excitement. Ironically, I’m a little nervous too. Okay, okay, I get nervous minor things like dirty floors (Lauren can back me up on this one), but still, I’m nervous. As I was writing the posts, I kept thinking, “Did I cover it all?”… “Will they understand this?”… “Was that the best angle?” It’s pretty standard for indies to host a sew along with the release of a pattern, and I think they’re super effective and what differentiates us from the big pattern companies. Sewing related or not, if I want to learn something, my go-to resource is YouTube. I’m a visual learning. Text does stick unless I have pictures or a video to go along with it. So, let’s do this Sierra sew along! Will you be making a Sierra? If so, have you picked out your fabric and trims? Please share to get me even more stoked! And if you haven’t heard about the sew along and want to learn more and/or join, click here to read all about it. lace above from Tailor Made Shop

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tags: bra making, Construction, lingerie, personal, teaching Comments: 10

Bra Making Tutorial: Reducing Bulk

Just a quick bra making tip today. It’s a simple technique, but one that makes sewing a lot easier and the finished bra more professional and clean looking. When you have elastics that intersects, such as at a strap point, cut the first elastic short so that when the second is sewn and flipped back onto the first, there is very little bulk. Elastic is thick as it is, so reducing thickness at seams/points will prevent skipped stitches or your machine struggling to pass over “the hump.” This is especially true at strap points, when you could easily have 8 layers of fabric and elastic. When that happens, it’s almost impossible to attach the straps/rings. Your machine will literally go no where. So, how do you do this exactly? Let me walk you through it. I’ll use the strap point as an example and 3/8” elastic. I sew the first pass of elastic to one side, stopping 3/8” and a hair less from the edge of the fabric and cut the elastic to the last stitch (a hair less will account for the turn of cloth in the next step). Then, I turn the elastic to the wrong side and sew the second pass. After, I sew the second elastic to the other side, making sure that the elastic is butted up against where the first was cut off (see image). Last, I turn the elastic to the wrong side and sew the second pass. Do you have any bra making tips that make your bras more professional?

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tags: bra making, Construction, lingerie, teaching, tutorial Comments: 6

What I Made: Dakota

First, if you live in the US, I hope you’re having a great Labor Day! I’ll be in the studio today teaching and prepping to shoot a sew-along for this pattern. Oops! I might have let the cat out of the bag… Just like Sierra and Blake, these undies are a copy of a RTW design. To update those who missed those posts, I used to have a thing against buying lingerie from the market. It went against my handmade/sewing motto. That mentality changed when I went to Paris this summer and bought lingerie for the first time in over a year, rubbing off the patterns and copying the techniques. So far, it is helping my skills a lot – I get to experiment with guidance from an actual garment. It’s A LOT easier to copy a design when you have the tangible item in front of you rather than referring to photos. You can also take one half apart to see how it’s sewn and leave the other in tact. That’s assuming you’re not going to wear it. F A B R I C  +  T R I M S Front and back: black and white printed lycra underlined with white stretch mesh, both from Fleishman Fabrics. I used temporary spray adhesive to spray baste the fabrics together prior to cutting. I treated the layers as one going forward. The lycra is a very good quality, but it has 70% stretch, and for underwear, I like that number to be around 40%. The underwear has more “control”. Lining a stretch fabric with another stretch fabric reduces the stretch roughly 20%.  So, by underlining with the stretch mesh, I was able to get the stretch that I wanted. Crotch lining: cotton jersey from Fleishman Fabrics 3/8” firm black elastic for leg opening and front waist from Bra…

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tags: Construction, fabric, Fashon, lingerie Comments: 1

Bra Making with Madalynne Recap

Two and a half years ago, I attended a calligraphy workshop that was co-hosted by New Old Fashioned and The Hive Studio and loved how an otherwise simple learning experience was turned into an event via gift bags, drinks, photo booth, and sweets and treats. It’s the same reason I loved Bri Emery’s Blogshop, which I attended two years prior. Anna, the owner of New Old Fashioned, and I met shortly after that class to discuss how we could collaborate on a sewing workshop. Going into that brainstorm session, I had in mind a general home ec class, possibly a class on tailoring? When I showed her what I had been made most recently – Amber Rosalind – her eyes opened wide. Why not host a bra making workshop? Bingo. Anna and co-hosted the first workshop in February, and I can’t believe that last Saturday marked numero 3. It still astounds me that I sell tickets; I was shocked when all 4 sessions for 2015 sold out. I mean, I love bra making, but I thought I was the weirdo. Turns out, other women like bra making too. Phew! I’m not the only one! Last week was a whirlwind. I spent every day before and after work prepping – organizing goodie bags, cutting fabric, sweeping and vacuuming, cutting each person’s pattern, sweeping and vacuuming, setting up the machines, sweeping and vacuuming. What? I hate dirty floors! By Friday evening, I was equal parts exhausted and pumped. Each session brings different students and personalities. This group was the most social. Right off the bat, they wanted to get to know each other. There were a few celebrity attendees – Julie of Dear Kates and Lauren of Lauren of The Constitution of Lauren. The celebrity appearance to top them all was my grandma. I texted my grandpa…

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tags: bra making, Construction, lingerie, madalynne studios, philadelphia, teaching Comments: 2

Cover Stitch Tutorial

Earlier this month, I posted that I purchased a Janome CoverPro CP1000 cover stitch machine, but at that time, I hadn’t even threaded the darn thing. Since then, I’ve had time to mess around with it, and I’m here to tell you today, it is fantastic! FAN-TASTIC! This machine is like my duck-billed scissors – a tool that I knew would make sewing bras much easier, more professional and more efficient, but didn’t make the investment for a long time. While a couple weeks is hardly enough time for me to post a full review, I do have a simple tutorial to share with you – how to attach a bottom band to a bra like this one. I’m a novice when it comes to cover stitching, so if you think I could have sewed it a better way, let me know in the comments! SUpplies ELASTIC: I suggest using elastic at least ½” wide. Anything smaller will be super hard to sew (the width of a cover stitch is between 1/8”-3/8”) and won’t provide support. Half of an inch provides only a little support, but 3/8” or ¼” won’t provide any. The band would surely ride up in the back. For this tutorial, I’m using ¾” plush/picot elastic from Bra Makers Supply, but you could use braided elastic. It’s usually encased inside a tunnel, but it can be used for this application. A Princess Tam Tam bra I bought in Paris uses braided elastic this way. Also, braided elastic is easier to source. Joann’s sells it. STRETCH SCALLOPED LACE: Galloon or full yardage is fine as long as it’s at least double the width of the elastic. I am using a black metallic lace from Tailor Made Shop. SCISSORS + GLUE: I recommend duck-billed – it trims closer to the seam/stitch…

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tags: bra making, Construction, janome, lingerie, teaching, tutorial Comments: 3